UFC on ESPN 31 Predictions: Jimmy Crute vs. Jamahal Hill breakdown, betting odds 1

Jimmy Crute returns to the octagon after an infamous doctor stoppage loss, where he snapped his leg, in his last fight. Professionally, the Aussie is 12-2 and 4-2 in the UFC. All of the 25-year-old’s fights have been finishes. His opponent, Jamahal Hill is 8-1 professionally and 2-1 in the UFC. He’s won by knockout and decision and his sole loss was a TKO his last time out.

Crute vs. Hill betting odds

Crute is a respectable favorite over Hill who is a modest underdog on the comeback.

  • Crute: -170
  • Hill: +140

Crute vs. Hill breakdown

Prior to his last fight, many in the MMA community, myself included, were starting to suggest that Crute could be a future title contender. Crute’s striking, although not his specialty, is technical. He boasts a nearly 2:1 positive strike differential with 56% accuracy. Offensively, where he shines and separates himself from many other ranked 205’ers is his wrestling. Crute is a relentless, fundamental, and explosive wrestler who can get fights to the mat quickly and end fights soon after. He averages nearly five takedowns with an 80% success rate. Once he gets his opponent to the mat, he is extremely talented at ending the fight with vicious ground and pound or a creative submission. Crute is skilled at advancing position without releasing his opponent’s back from the mat. Overall, Crute’s formula of striking long enough to open up a takedown opportunity and then securing it has proved successful in the UFC and he’ll look to continue it Saturday.

Hill, unlike his counterpart, has never attempted a takedown in the UFC. Instead, he has earned a number next to his name with his hands. He averages an astonishing 7.5 significant strikes per minute while only absorbing 3.6. As a light heavyweight, that volume is significant and poses problems for many of his opponents. Hill, however, is not just a pepper striker; he has real power behind his shots as well. He has a 50% finish rate, all of them coming by KO/TKO. Hill typically stands flat-footed, gets a read on his opponent as they attempt to land, cuts and angle, and lands a heavy combination. His footwork often leaves his opponent overextended and vulnerable to his quick and violent hands. Hill has struggled with his takedown defense, which is solid but not spectacular. His long frame allows him to sprawl well and his balance keeps him upright against the cage; but, persistent wrestlers have gotten him down. He’ll look to improve his 60% takedown defense and keep the fight standing where he’ll have the advantage on the feet.

Crute vs. Hill Prediction

This should be a fun and fast-paced fight against two up-and-coming fighters. I’m high on both men; but, anticipate Crute getting the victory. As is common in his fights, Crute’s wrestling is an x-factor that separates him from his opponent. I see him trading with Hill for a bit, but then getting Hill down. From there, despite Hill’s respectable submission defense, I see Crute getting the finish.

Prediction: Crute inside the distance

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